Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Several West Virginia Colleges, Universities Offering Oral HIV Tests
West Virginia University earlier this month joined Fairmont State University, Glenville State College and Marshall University as higher education institutions in the state offering students oral HIV tests, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. According to health officials, the confidential test is administered with a cotton pad or swab, which is placed between a patient's cheek and gum for five minutes to collect an oral fluid sample. The sample is then tested for HIV antibodies. Counseling also may be offered at the schools as part of the testing services, according to the AP/Sun. WVU has tested about 20 students since implementing the program. "What prompted it was a long-standing desire to have more HIV prevention, counseling, education and testing," Jan Palmer, director of WVU's Student Health Service, said, adding, "Too often college students feel a false sense of security because they are young and appear to be healthy." According to state health officials, there were 65 new HIV cases reported in the state during the first six months of this year, compared with 139 in all of 2004 and 158 in 2003 (Saxton, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 9/28).
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